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If Steve Jobs had run cricket

The sport would have been played in pristine outfits, by beautiful people who'd get all their problems solved by someone smarter than the umps

Damith Samarakoon

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A
ICC president-elect Sharad Pawar at a meeting in Delhi, June 4, 2010
No room for him in the streamlined Apple future © AFP
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Many worldly scholars have often wondered what the world would have been like had Steve Jobs been given the chance to run it. Naturally, we went a step further. Where would cricket be had Jobs been at the helm? We suspect it would have ended up a publicly listed entity with insanely priced stock. And that it would have spread like wildfire to all corners of the globe, even enjoying a brief stint as the world's most popular sport. New formats would have been unveiled and discontinued. And the governing body would have become wildly popular (imagine that).

It's all in the "i"
The little "i" has served to add a sense of mystique to all Apple products. So rebranding the ICC as iCC wouldn't really have made a huge difference. After all, what are ICC decisions if not mysterious and confusing enough to alienate half the cricket population? But it would have made cricket cool to the Americans.

All whites
All cricket matches would have been played in whites - with a hint of a silvery glow. Boards would have been expected to pay more if they wanted coloured clothing.

Product streamlining
Jobs would have announced sweeping changes to the cricket landscape in his first iCC annual meeting. Test cricket would have been revamped into three versions: TC3 (a three-day format) TC4S (a four-day format, with the option of having Bumble do all the commentary) and T5 (a yet-to-be-released version that would have satisfied the traditionalists).

The 50-over game would have been retained as the "classic", with a hint of it not being supported in future. The aesthetically obsessive Jobs would have dropped the IPL from the catalogue, branding it "obscene", and would have changed everything, again, with a split-innings Twenty20 format.

The initial backlash would've been downplayed by urging fans to "think differently". And after a year or so we would have all been brainwashed into thinking that this new world of cricket was what we had wanted all our lives.

A new Asian superpower
Step aside, India. In a Jobs-led cricket world, he would have only answered to China. They wouldn't necessarily even have a team, but with all cricket gear-manufacturing moving there to support the launch of the iGear Store, China would be the new superpower. The Bird's Nest would be the new Lord's. Dravid wouldn't get past Immigration for bringing the Great Wall into disrepute. And the Barmy Army would cop a hiding when it went up against a nation trained to support in unison.

Whet your appetite
The often laborious one-day World Cup would have been revamped and played incrementally over three years, with round-robin games in the first, quarter- and semi-finals in the second, and the big one in the last. Jobs would have held back the good stuff, so that when eventually the games were played, the demand would be so high that ground capacity could be increased to around 500,000. "A World Cup final should be something people should camp out for weeks to attend."

Aesthetics first
Only male models would have been allowed to play cricket. Aesthetics was Jobs' No. 1 priority. Even if the games themselves weren't that good, fans would have been privy to some of the best-looking cricketers out there. You know what this means, though, don't you? Sorry, India, no Tendulkar.

Siri replaces DRS
We often say the umpires need all the help they can get. Well, in the Jobs era, they would have Siri - the decision review assistant. Got a decision you're not sure about? Just ask Siri. "Is Ricky Ponting lying about claiming that catch?" "Tell me the nearest exit from this ground now that I've given Tendulkar out?" These, and other umpire quandaries, can easily be resolved by asking Siri. Cricket laws would also have been changed to accommodate this new technology - from "Umpire's word is final" to "If in doubt, Siri is right".

Yes, it would've been a beautiful world, where cricket would have seamlessly integrated with every part of our lives. Or as Jobs would have put it - a cricketing ecosystem.

Damith Samarakoon is a Sri Lankan cricket fanatic living in Sydney. He blogs regularly at www.theflyslip.net

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 29 
Posted by AvmanM on (October 21, 2011, 22:16 GMT)

iPad would have a completely different meaning.

Posted by 9ST9 on (October 21, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

nice one damith - and i really feel sorry for the people who are disturbed that the author implies Tendulkar is not good looking.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

Good read for anyone who knows cricket and Apple.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (October 19, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

Hilarious work! What's even funnier is the way certain commenters here are getting worked up at the mention of Tendulkar lol. Gotta love the sheep, whether they are in the Apple's flock or Tendulkar's ;)

Posted by cricsavvy on (October 19, 2011, 4:46 GMT)

For the author Tendulkar is not good looking,but Sanath Jayasurya is!!

Posted by India_boy on (October 19, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

it was part boring and part ordinary,with just a hint of comic in this. Even though this is a page 2 article the line that read "Dravid wudnt get past immigration for bringing the Great Wall to disrepute"...wow, for the cricketing world, Dravid-The Wall is way above the Great Wall in which case Dravid wudnt go to China to play, for calling an ugly structure "great wall" . and as far as aesthetics are concerned, none of the sri lankan players wud get to play, spcly Malinga, murali, lakmal etc...

Posted by   on (October 19, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

this article is the apple newton?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

Yawn!........................

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 19:25 GMT)

This is so lame! Can't get the creative juices going or what?

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

Good One..!! Siri Should Replace DRS..:)

Posted by cricodile on (October 18, 2011, 18:29 GMT)

very funny article. opens up your imagination....when given out a player would behave differently ( even say thank you to the bowler or umpire). Each match will be more interesting and intriguing then the match before. Mr DW and Lewis will be unemployed. Match fixing ( or hacking) would be gone. You wont need a watchdog ( or antivirus).

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 17:13 GMT)

minor flaw in the article, U cant have Tendulkar reference in the last para "siri replaces DRS" once you already ruled him out in the previous one. Need to come up with a different name.

Posted by rshaad on (October 18, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

i like the "it would have made cricket cool to the Americans" part

Posted by kribnutz on (October 18, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

@ DonChelladurai

He is very good at creative writing. Go get a sense of humour

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (October 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT)

I know this is a Page 2 article but it would've been funnier if you'd said "Sorry Sri Lanka, No Malinga" in the Aesthetics first bit.

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 15:34 GMT)

Haha..wont get past immigration because of the Great wall. Nice one. Cracked me up.

Posted by Wolfpac on (October 18, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

ha ha ha this one was awesome had me in stitches, keep it up pal good owrk

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

Steve Jobs was not an inventor. He was a re-inventor and integrator, and he was all about "User Experience". He would have merged hot-spot with DRS and added more to reinvent a new thing iUmpire. There would be cameras and sensors for everything including wides, no-balls, bouncers, chucking, caught-behinds, run outs, stumps, LBWs, and even to see if the boundries were 4, 6, or stopped. Cricket rules would be formulated after surveys from cricket fans and grounds designed accordingly. So all grounds would be green and even like billiard tables. All pitches would be installed on daily basis. The tickets would be very expensive but people would fill the stadium!!!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

I love Steve Jobs.... but some how I found writer is not happy with Indian cricket ... didn't it?

Posted by JDinLA on (October 18, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

Spectators would be allowed to bring cameras to matches but there would be a hard and fast rule about no flash ;)

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

Nice one... I like the iCC bit !

Posted by DonChelladurai on (October 18, 2011, 11:56 GMT)

you're not too good at creative writing. Get another job.

Posted by SagirParkar on (October 18, 2011, 11:39 GMT)

wonderfully written and well imagined. aptly tying Jobs' work ethic and terminology to the game.. well done ! i loved the bit about 'whetting appetite' and it is something Apple are very good at.. they release a product, deliberately hold back something so that the poor sheep can come back again and wait in queues for over a day just to get the new model for that little increment in specs !!

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 11:23 GMT)

not very good,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 9:49 GMT)

hahaha brilliantly written!

Posted by Ronsars on (October 18, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

Full marks for the effort...Good one Damith

Posted by KALPANA. on (October 18, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

cool, well written. i support the idea of a machine doing the overall umpiring.

Posted by CricketPissek on (October 18, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

hilarious read machang. made me LOL and i've sent this link worldwide for people to read! i LOVE siri replacing the DRS :-D one question though - wouldn't this also mean many other countries will copy it and release an "open source" version of cricket at a lower price? which would lead to the iCC taking them to courts over patent violations? oh wait...... the iPL has already done that ;)

Posted by   on (October 18, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

Classic. Loved the one-liner about Rahul.

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